New Westminster , BC
My name is Jake Anhanhsi McIntyre-Dilley, and I am an Ojibwa-Algonquin of the Wolf Clan from the Timiskaming First Nation on my father’s side, and Irish, English, and Romanian on my mother’s side. As a mixed-race Aboriginal woman, it was always very important to myself, my father, and my mother that I honour and understand my Native roots and culture. When I was a child, I apprenticed under my father in the Ojibwa Eastern Woodlands art form. While he was teaching me to paint, he would tell me stories that his Aunties and Uncles told him when he was a boy. My favourites were always those of Coyote and Raven, the tricksters.
I have spent all my life as a voracious reader, and one of my favourite parts of reading has always been to try and create the lives and stories of the secondary characters. In my story, I took the myth of Coyote and his son’s wife, and gave them life beyond the legend. The story had always intrigued me, as nothing was ever said about what happened to the poor woman who was tricked by her father-in-law.
I chose to write the story from the point of view of a granddaughter listening to her Nookum telling the story as this was how the story was passed down to me; my great-grandmother Isabelle telling it to my grandma Marlene, who told it to my father, Don, who then told it to me. I wanted to capture the love and the language that oral traditions are able to pass on that the written word has such a hard time capturing.